Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly ‘working hard’ on new contract

Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

It’s getting down to brass tacks time between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Baker Mayfield heading into NFL free agency.

Tampa Bay opted against placing the franchise tag on its star quarterback ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. With the legal tampering period set to start on Monday, Mayfield can start negotiating with other teams in the matter of days.

While it has always been likely that Mayfield would return to the Buccaneers after a stellar 2023 season, other options have emerged.

The question here is now whether the two sides can come to terms on a new deal ahead of next week. Dianna Russini of The Athletic provided an update on talks, indicating that recent progress has been made.

“When I last checked in with sources, Mayfield and the Bucs were working hard to strike a deal, especially after they locked up WR Mike Evans,” report on Baker Mayfield contract talks with the Buccaneers.

It had been speculated that Mayfield is looking at something similar to the four-year, $160 million contract Daniel Jones landed with the New York Giants last offseason. That seems to be the going rate for a starter-caliber veteran quarterback in today’s market.

Related: Baker Mayfield and the top NFL free agents of 2024

Buccaneers will face competition if they can’t lock up Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield
Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

If Monday comes and the Buccaneers have not locked up Mayfield, the expectation is that he’ll talk with other teams. In fact, it doesn’t make much sense for the former No. 1 pick to to agree to a new contract right now. Why negotiate against yourself?

The Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings have both been bandied about as potential destinations for Mayfield in free agency. It also wouldn’t be a big surprise if teams such as the Washington Commanders, Las Vegas Raiders and New England Patriots showed interest in the improved signal caller.

Mayfield, 28, is coming of a career-best performance in his first season with Tampa Bay. The veteran completed 64% of his passes for 4,044 yards with 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

It is working in the Bucs’ favor that they were able to lock up Mayfield’s favorite target, Mike Evans, ahead of free agency. He inked a two-year contract to return to Tampa Bay. Mayfield had noted multiple times in the past how much he loved playing with Evans a season ago.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: